Nearly 50 people turned out Monday to hear Wisconsin United to Amend spokesperson George Penn lay out the case for a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would bar corporations and lobbying groups from unrestricted spending on political campaigns.
“I am up here because I am asking you to make an investment in our democracy.”
Wisconsin United to Amend is part of a nationwide network of groups that want to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission decision that held corporations could not be barred from making so-called independent expenditures.
But Penn says the ruling opened the “floodgates” for big money to unduly influence politicians.
“How can politicians represent you when they’re given millions in their campaigns to represent someone else?... This is what we have. We have purchase of our politicians. A lot of people say ‘We got a bad government. We got a broke government.’ I say no, we don’t have a bad government, don’t have a broke government. We have a government that is a tool of the politicians. There is nothing wrong with our government except that the politicians make it bad."
Penn said the proposed constitutional amendment would declare money isn’t speech, and that only people are entitled to constitutional rights, and not “artificial entities” such as corporations, unions and super PACs. A constitutional amendment requires either the approval of two-thirds of both houses of Congress, or an Article V convention requested by two-thirds of state legislatures. In either case, three-fourths of the states must then approve the amendment. For more information about their campaign, go to their website: wiuta.org.